Fashion as Activism: Sparking Necessary Conversations

My sun // always remember // your light is not on a dimmer […]

Through love // my Sun // you are a healer to a mighty sum

excerpt from Solis: A Love Letter

Today I cried, inside a Pavillions with a stranger. Together, we made a scene, people heard and people saw. They saw two compassionate women in pain expressing outrage through tears, swear words, too many unanswered questions and a mutual empathy for humanity. We connected about our devastation. that there are children who are separated from their families and left alone at our borders. Why  is this shit happening? This isn’t right! Can I send breastmilk? Can I go to them, hold them, hug them, be a wetnurse? Send them to our homes! We didn’t and don’t care about the politics or the buearacracy or congress or “laws”. THESE are our children, get them back to their parents NOW. TODAY! Why is that not happening? This should be an immediate cease and desist, open the gates! It was a moment that we both needed to share today. Pure vulnerability.

What sparked this connection was relatively small, unexpected…or was it? The impetus? A pair of earrings. My Black Power fists, a symbol of solidarity, strength and resistance. An intentional accessory led to an uncomplicated invitation. A simple “I like your earrings” effortlessly accepted, “Thank you. I wear them to spark conversation and there’s a lot going on in this country that we need to be talking about.” And that was it. A few sentences casually tossed together to create the space that two spiritual sisters needed to connect, break, release and fortify.

Black Power Fists

Sinea, 

  My new soul sister friend, our energy intensified and was set on fire when we came together today. Keep your compassion alive, your vibrancy, stay on this path with your Warrior self. We need to be strong because we have work to do, work for those that are unable to. You are a part of the solution for the families whose lives they are trying to destroy. Thank you for reminding me that WE can and do move mountains. Humbled and honored to have shared space with you today. . ❤ J

By the time our communion closed, Sinea was in front of me and we held each other in a Divine embrace for a long time, fusing our light, energy so thick you could float on it. We committed to using our platforms, our voices and to take action. We cannot be complacent when there’s so much work to be done. So now,

: What can we do? :

  • Baby2Baby is collecting basic essentials to create bundles of highly needed items for immigrant children through their partnership with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). Click here in  to purchase directly from the registry.
  • Here’s an actual factual article to help you understand the atrocities that have been happening, Slate has done a great job of updating this article almost daily to include more and more organizations that are being of service.
  • We can also write to the babies via the angels at Southwest Key Programs. Check out the info in the graphic below.

letters to kids

To everyone reading, DO something. Use your platforms, your voice, your dollars. These conversations are necessary, crying together is illuminating and healing. Hug each other (consensually) and ignite each other’s souls to do the work that we are meant to do. Make a difference in whatever way you can today, because you CAN. Trust.

– xOx

UPDATE :

Just learned of Melania Trump’s ridiculousness. This is how it’s done Mrs. Trump.

 

Pregnancy and Weed

Candles glow // I close eyes for the wishes I blow // Seeds I sow // For the chance to know // Your healing soul // Grow Flower grow.

This week I had the honor of guest writing for the blog, Jane Dope, “a blog by and for women who love Cannabis.” on the super taboo topic of using cannabis while pregnant. In the article, I share my personal thoughts and experiences. Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m a planner and a researcher living a hippie lifestyle. I don’t just put anything into or on my body without proper investigation, so to smoke during my pregnancy was a conscious choice.” 

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share my story on a female-driven platform for other conscious Mama tokers. I hope that it can bring some understanding to those that may judge us and also share a light with those who feel alone or even ashamed by their cannabis use.

Peep the full story here.

weed and pregnancy 1
A gloriously full 10 months pregs!

– xOx

#Enough! // “When the bullet strikes”

For over a century // We have helped hunters and saviors and warriors // We were made to ensure safety // But we are ending up too often in the wrong hands… excerpt from When the bullet strikes by Idris Goodwin

In October 2016 I was part of the Los Angeles team that produced The Every 28 Hours Festival, a collection of 72 one-minute plays centered around a study from 2012 that showed “that every 28 hours a black person was extrajudicially killed by vigilante, security guard, or the police in the United States.” The play festival was sparked in 2014 by the events in Ferguson and created by Claudia Alick “developed with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The One-Minute Play Festival with over one-hundred artistic collaborators across the country. Collaborators include Tony award-winning artists, activists, family members directly affected by police violence, politicians, cultural organizers, and law enforcement.” In February 2017, my co-producers and I were commissioned to mount another production at Cal State Dominguez Hills. This month, March 2018, we must continue the conversation because it wasn’t just a one-off production for us, but a message and a movement that we must continue, to stand, to march and resist. In support of our youth and the March For Our Lives, we bring you a video collaboration of the one minute play When the bullet strikes by Idris Goodwin, one of original collaborators and writers for The Every 28 Hours Play Festival. I’m looking forward to the year that this is a memory of a festival that we produced and not something we have to continue to add names to.

In memory of Stephon Clark.

– xOx

 

Baby’s First Cold Remedies

Mornings filled with ritual // chants to protect // Let no harm come to him // my fully realized classic hymn. Excerpt from King of Kings.

Dealing with my baby’s cold here.

My baby got his first cold!!! Wannnh! I know it’s inevitable and his immune system does need to build up its strength, but I was hoping we had another few months before he got sick. Like I really thought maybe around 9-12 months, y’know, because of the super duper forcefield and otherworldly power of my breastmilk! But alas…he got that runny nose y’all and word on the street is, babies can get sick 6-8 times before they turn 1! WTF?!? Seriously. I know I’m living in LaLa Land, both literally and figuratively, but I hope babes doesn’t get sick again for the rest of this year! Praying his immune system has gotten really strong this go round!

Anyhoo. He got sick, I freaked (aka scoured the internet to make sure it wasn’t the plague) and these are the things I found to help and they seem to be working!

  1. Sauna it out! Go into el baño, run the hot water, put some drops of peppermint oil and *eucalyptus oil* in the bath and let the room steam with aromatherapy! We sat in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes tops. NOT in the shower, just in the bathroom on the toilet, breathing. (This one was hard for me because I HATE wasting water, but it does feel like it helps a lot.)
  2. Suck boogies! The classic blue bulb syringe BS that we all know and loathe. Every mother receives one through the hospital, their registry or from some well-meaning person and it’s quite frankly a piece of doo doo! It really can’t do anything, look at the teeny tiny hole and long slender nozzle, that hole isn’t pulling in diddly squat and that violent nozzle is going to stab the baby in the brain. PLUS you can’t see inside of it to see if it’s getting anything (it’s not) or clean it, that’s just gross. So… I tried sucking babe’s boogers out with my mouth, yes, I did that, I know, I know, but it is a thing and I was desperate! However it didn’t work well. Then after some more internet digging, I found this amazing mama’s post and immediately ordered the Frida Baby! It basically marries me sucking boogers out of his nose with the blue bulb blob and it’s SO much better! You put one end in the baby’s nose and it creates a suction around their nostril and then the other end in your mouth to suck. Don’t worry, there’s a long ass tube and a filter, so no boogies get in your mouth! Seriously though, it gets so much mucus out! There was a point where I felt like I was sucking his brains out because the mucus wouldn’t stop coming! How would he have lived with all that snot in there? I felt like a hero, I don’t think he saw me the same though. FYI *Do not do a saline flush more than 2-3x a day for over 4 days, you run the risk of drying baby’s nose out too much.*
  3. Oil Diffuser/Cool Mist Humidifier! I live in California where it’s hella dry! We’ve been running a Young Living Essential Oils diffuser which also works as a cool mist humidifier in the room for pretty much 24 hours a day. I added peppermint oil to it for a menthol-y scent to help open up babes nasal passages.
  4. Baby’s Positioning! For the first 2 days and 2 nights I slept in a recliner with my big ole baby on my chest. It felt like we were back on his newborn schedule, sleeping off and on every 1-2 hours. I believe it helped the phlegm not pool in his throat and I loved sleeping with him like we did when he was first born! *Memories* He’s back in our bed now and I’ve been keeping him on his stomach or laying him on an incline, his whole upper back inclined, not just his neck, you never want anything to compress the neck area. I also worked from and hung out in the room on these days to watch him breathe, because…mommy paranoia! If your little one sleeps in a crib. Roll up some towels and put under the side of the mattress where their head is so there’s a slight incline, again for that mucus drainage. YUCK!
  5. Onion! A super holistic mommy friend of mine told me about this, “quarter an onion and put it in every room of the house. It will purify the air of anything airborne.” I trust this woman and what she tells me, so I did it. It definitely added a scent that I believed was taking out all the “bad” with it. I also found this article by a Mama in Indonesia who uses the onion method and adds *eucalyptus oil. She has some other fab tips as well.
  6. Bath! We took a nice warm bath and afterwards, he got a lovely massage with coconut oil. I concentrated on his crown chakra and the bottoms of his feet in hopes that it will ignite healing from both ends!
  7. TLC! I’ve just stayed with him all day and all night. I’m there for whatever he needs, whenever he needs it. We haven’t left the bedroom in 3 days. I let him nurse on me as often as he wants and we’re both naked, so he can have the boob whenevs. We sleep, we read books and I hold him, a lot. My lower back is def in need of a good stretch and workout this week, but right now, being here is worth every minute! Now I know how my Mama felt when she would bring pillows in the bathroom and sleep on the floor with me when I was sick. Mommies ARE heroes! 🙂

I hope some of these work for you as they’ve been working for us. He still has a lingering cough that we’ve been told by a doctor can last another 1-2 weeks as the postnasal drip clears. BOO! So we’re still using the humidifier, steams and baby positioning. LET THIS COLD END!!!

Blue bulb of death.                            Suck them baby boogies out right!

– xOx

Ciao Ciao Vices!

Ciao, adios, sayonara my dear friends // Jose, Grey and Henny, you been with me through thick and thin // We’ve had some fun nights with the ladies and the mens // but now it’s time to say goodbye to day drinking, hangovers, recapping in the AM // I’m starting a new chapter, a new life, so that’s it, I’m fin // Cleansing my temple from years and years of sin // Bringing new life & adding wealth to my kin. // I’ll think back on our time together with mixed feelings and a grin // maybe one day I’ll revisit, but for now, I gotta go hard for the win. 

A rare look into one of my last drunk nights captured on video.

So as you know, we’ve been working on an ongoing preconception plan for a minute and one of the ways to really get prepared is to cleanse our bodies through our food choices, adding vitamins to our daily regimen and cutting out all of our vices! Yikes! In preparation for alla that, we decided to spend our last pre-baby summer micro-dosing on shrooms, going on DMT journeys, road trippin, nude beachin and we were even lucky enough to be able to take a work/pleasure trip to Spoleto, Italy for a month to macro-dose on red wine and theatah! I will say once we got home from Italy, weening off the vino was not easy, especially since we were hosting my sister from Amsterdam who had a bottle waiting for us upon US arrival! Even with all the temptations, I knew I would put in the hard work to clean out this temporary home for my future bambinx. With a party night here and a party night there, I began the process as you’ve seen in several of my previous v/blogs. This video is def not about the cleansing, but one of my last crazy nights in the streets of Italy! I hope you laugh as much as I did when I found it the next morning!

– xOx

PS. At the beginning of the insert video, I say “where Josh and I are walking”, I was trying to say “staying” cuz I was def walking home solo. D-ruuuuunk!

 

Not Pregs Yet

My timing is not your timing and so the story goes // To invite you in, I must learn // it’s about relinquishing control // To my Spirit, lover, ancestor and friend // the meeting of old souls // Sacred forces of love // waiting for you to unfold // We’ll dance again, we’ll pirouette // sashay around the sun // trip and twirl with Mother Moon // feeling our hearts beating inside my one.

A clip into my feels.

So 2 cycles of “intentionally” trying to get pregs and it hasn’t happened yet. I know that this can take some time, in fact, I’ve googled it now, of course, and there’s only a 20% chance of getting pregnant each cycle. Which means, years ago, I was hitting that 20% like a muthafuckin bullseye! I very much believed that the first time me and my sperm-totin, chromosome-slingin partner had unprotected sex that that would be it! We’d totally be pregs on the first try. I wasn’t even putting that much pressure on us, at all, we were like whatever about it. We agreed that after we paid off our consumer debt, we’d just be less safe in the lovemaking arena and see what happened, whenever it happened, and it hasn’t happened. Okay, not gonna lie, I was also trying to have a Cancer baby, because we’ll be TWINS and BFFs!!!, but that dream is gone for now and I’m trying not to micromanage what my baby’s zodiac sign will be (*please let it be a water sign, please let it be a water sign*).

I guess I was also thrown off because I had started my preconception plan; my body, mind and spirit work 6-10 months before our projected “unsafe sex” zone! Then having lots and lots of boning in as many crazy places and positions as possible so we could have a fun conception story and then I wake up to the crimson tide, again. It’s a shock and it sucks, especially when I’ve now deemed myself “ready”. Are we ever really ready though? I’m hopeful and faithful that we have a purpose and a place in the continued creation of beautiful humans that will be part of the good in the world. I know that it could take us up to 12 months to get pregnant and after that we can seek even more expert help.

Today, I let myself be sad, mourn with the first day of my cycle and then I’ll feel the blessing and cleansing that it is and I’ll honor it while dancing with the phases of the moon. To be continued…

– xOx

IUDs & other BCs

When we’re ready for each other // that’s the moment we’ll meet. // Arm in neck, hips on feet // The nectar from your body // is the most syrupy sweet. 

“Well we’re movin on doooown (the list) to the Southside, I finally have some peace of miiiind!” (to the tune of Good Times, naturally!)

Here’s a quick vid about my various birth control experiences!

Oh birth control, how much I owe you for keeping me free from unwanted pregnancies for the last 10+ years. Also shout out to Planned Parenthood for helping me plan and keepin it safe fo free.99! I have tried a variety of birth control methods in this lifetime, including the pullout method. PS. it doesn’t work. PPS. You can get pregnant off pre-cum, I have a teenage daughter that proves this theory. Sooooo after becoming a teen mom and to keep it really real, (because that’s how I likes to keep it) a miscarriage, 2 abortions and a couple of Plan Bs later I got my shit together and started some damn consistent birth control using.

First for me was, the pill, and for me, was #theworst, I could never remember to take it, let alone at the same time everyday. I don’t even remember what pill(s) I took, I tried a variation of at least 4-5 different ones over the years, I sucked at taking them all. Add to that lots of hormones and breakouts. Ugh. I am not even going to pretend to be an expert on the pill, so HERE is an amazing link with more details then I will ever know!

NEXT…The patch was cool for the duration of which I endured it. It did it’s thing and made my period hella predictable, and I only had to think about it 1x a week when I switched out the sticky patch, but then Moms called and told me about women getting blood clots from using it and asked me to stop, I willingly obliged. I also had to frequently scrub around it, because it got that gross band-aid gunk around the edges. I typically wore it in my bikini line area, but I saw girls with them on their arm like a damn nicotine patch…I never got that one. “…chicks with birth control stuck to they arm like Nicorette // You really fuckin’ that much or trying to get off cigarettes?” – Talib Kweli

NEXT…The NuvaRing was my thing thing! I loved it, it was like hear no evil see no evil. I didn’t have to think about it but 1x a MONTH! You wear it for 3 weeks and take it out for 1 to get your menstrual cycle OR you can put in another one to skip your period! I did that for the Bahamas and was stoked that it worked! Many months later I started realizing that I was becoming a psycho with crazy moodswings…well like more than normal anyway and I told my partner I didn’t want to use any hormonal birth control anymore because I wanted some semblance of sanity, they of course were totally cool with that idea and we said adios to the ring!

  • Oh GAWD- side story: My homegirl took the bartender home from the club one night and as he was fingering her, he felt her NuvaRing, freaked, pulled it out and chucked it across the room in the dark! She promptly turned on the lights and made him help her find it before they proceeded!

NEXT…Condoms are pretty classic. If you use them right and there’s no accidents, they definitely do the job. Just make sure that they fit your mate accurately, not everyone needs a magnum no matter how big their ego is, trust and make sure that they’re rolled down all the way with space at the tip for that precious cum or it definitely can/will bust. You can tell it’s on upside down if it doesn’t easily roll down and the slack is on the other side. With condoms, you do give up the skin to skin contact, which is the best when you’re with a partner you know and trust! Expert tip: every now and then, especially when you’re having a real intense sesh, reach down and make sure that the condom is still up to the base of the penis!  I can tell you from personal experience, that they can slide off and get pushed up and stuck inside the vaginal canal. That was 2 embarrassing trips to the health-center on campus during college.

NEXT…The ParaGuard IUD was my faaaaaaaaave! This was the shiznittal bang for me. Once you set it, you can forget it! I got it and kept it in for 6 years without one scare or one problem, minus getting the strings trimmed when my partner said he could feel them at first. After that, it was easy peasy. The IUD I chose is good for 12 years (previously 10 years), is made of copper, absolutely no hormones and immediately reversible upon removal. I’m a huge fan and will sell the IUD to anyone who is even thinking about getting it! (not literally selling it!) The “negatives”, the insertion and removal, neither are comfortable. The first, you have to be on your menstrual cycle so that you cervix is slightly dilated, breathe through it girl, it only lasts a few seconds with some cramping to follow for a couple of hours, it was by far the worst day of the IUD. “Supposedly”, what they tell you is that it can lengthen your cycle, make it heavier and you could have more cramps. None of that happened for me, but I also have always had a longer and heavier period then most and no cramps. The removal, you can get at any time of the month, not the chillest feeling when they pull it out, but it’s seriously it’s like 2 seconds and you’re done! No cramps, no bleeding and they asked me if I wanted to see it…I did and gave thanks and a heartfelt goodbye to my little kung fu karate-chopping sperm killer!

I also tried a female condom once and only once…idk if I wasn’t using it right or what, but they (scientists) have a long way to go until that thing is comfortable or usefully wearable.

Spermicide was a thought at one point, nothing says sexy time like shooting foam up your vagina and then asking your partner to wait 15 minutes before getting it on. It stayed in the paper sack from whence it came.

So what does this tell you about me and people like me? That the best form of birth control, for us, is something we don’t have to think about, ever. Now I see it, now I don’t! There are at least 7 other forms of birth control that I didn’t try and that you can check them out at this snazzy site with a pretty extensive list here.

I’m an advocate for safe sex, duh! I think teaching abstinence is dumb (does that sound judge-y?) and especially dumb with the exclusion of birth control education. That being said, I do think everyone should wait to have sex until they’re ready, which is different from person to person. We each need to respect our partner’s or want-to-be partner’s choices. Sex is AHH-MAZING when enjoyed by all those involved, which means consent is mandatory! Remember, yes means yes and the absence of a “no” is not a yes! This goes for all genders, sexual identities and preferences. If someone seems iffy, don’t push them, thank them for taking care of themselves and when you get some alone time, pleasure yourself if you want to. Solo-play is actually the safest sex possible! Mutual respect, safety and trust are the only way to go in Sex Land!

– xOx

Fertility Altars

My body itself is an altar, a sacred space, a religious place. 

Here’s a quick tour of my fertility altar.

We have altars set up throughout our home, 4 to be exact. I would even go as far as saying our home is an altar in itself as are the two humans who currently occupy space here. I love me some rituals and altars are all about rituals and purposeful places of worship. My home is definitely full of devotion as well as praise! So as I prepared to call our little spirit baby to join us in this life, I created an altar with all my fave fertility relics and some schweet treats! Here’s the objects I chose to put on my fertility/welcome bambinx altar! 🙂

  • Coconut Oil: Good for just about everything, but my new fave…lube honey! It’s like a tropical paradise down under! Good for solo play, w/toys, and with ya partna!
  • Food: an apple, an orange and my favorite chocolate mints. I think every altar should have things that are living (need to add a plant to this one!) and things that are being sacrificed, the fruit. I’m blessing them and asking for blessings as I add them to the spread. At the point I do become pregnant, I’m plan on eating the fruit that’s present.
  • Fertility Portion:
    • My favorite vibrator, the Lelo Ina Wave. I def wanted something on there that was fallic and that brings me joy and since I can’t put my lover up there, the next best thing will have to do. *side note* 3 words: full body orgasm!
    • Viva La Vulva! It’s a vulva pin that I picked up at 2016’s Amber Rose’s Slut Walk and met the cutest pair of feminist, sex-positive entrepreneur artist gal partners! I love their pins and stickers and am sad I can’t find any contact page to tag.
    • Ganesh who was actually a wedding present from my spouse’s childhood friend that she bought while traveling in South Asia. Ganesh represents fertility and is the destroyer of obstacles! So having her aboard the altar was a no-brainer!
    • Venus of Willendorf c. 25,000 B.C.. obvi I don’t have the original, in fact mine is carved from wood not limestone. There’s a bunch of theories on her,  but like who do we ask to know for sure, right? This is even before Jesus’s time! Some theories are; she was used as a symbol of fertility, represented procreativity, could have been a good luck charm, a deity or mother goddess! My fave theory about the red ochre pigment covering her is that it’s thought to symbolize menstrual blood which was seen as a life giving agent. Yay!! Ahh pre-patriarchy and hate of all women things, let’s get back there, shall we?
    • Moonstone, the stone of fertility, the love stone and it connects us to the goddess and the moon! Plus it’s the stone for my birth time and is said to accelerate psychic abilities!
    • Yoni Eggs: Holistic vaginal weights made of precious healing crystals. This link will take you to my other v/blog I created on my favorite vaginal inserts! 🙂
  • Hopeful baby daddy’s crystals, although I joke in the video that he didn’t want to be left off of the altar, it is important for him to have a stake and a presence in all aspects of baby consciousness and I’m very grateful that he’s into all the same hippie spiritual ways. I tease and call him my monk.
  • BOOKS!: We are big readers individually and collectively, we read as much as we can together, like legit read out loud together from the same book like some nerds. Lots of relationships books, finance books, plays, anything that is going to continue to help us grow and develop into better versions of ourselves! I think it’s SO important that a couple read together and continue to work on the relationship. Time changes, we change, reading together, for us, has helped us to stay on equal footing.
  • Incense: I typically light one every day, especially during yoga and meditation times. My favorite scent is so cliche I feel like, nag champa. I could smell it all day!
  • Above the altar
    • Erotic art! I’m so into it and I want more! Right now I have a Kama Sutra basic position piece from The World Erotic Art Museum in Miami, Florida. Please go if you’re ever there, it’s incredible, they have everything and I don’t want to spoil it for you! We have a couple making love that was spray-painted on black canvas for us in the streets of Barcelona, Spain! Lastly, I have a abstract piece from an artist in Joshua Tree, California.
    • Dreamcatchers: We made at a Native American site and event at Kuruvungna Springs. We were actually really proud of how they turned out even though they look like a child made them!
    • Our vows!! Bae and I were up ’til the wee hours of the morning the night before our wedding (separately!) finishing up our vows, in fact I was still cleaning them up in the space a couple hours before the ceremony. I’m happy that we wrote our own vows and what’s hilarious is we both open on almost the exact same line. We are the same human sometimes! 🙂

Our altars will continue to shift and breathe with me and the changes that I go through, just like it will modify once I’m in pregnancy mode then into postnatal! It’s probably why I have 4 of them throughout the house. We live, we grow, we add, we purge and we pray.

– xOx

Saying goodbye…

FullSizeRender 2
Seeing love & inspiration in all things today.

Heart bleeding, beeting, bleating.

Red eye to the east side for a ritual to say goodbye,

collectively we’ll inhale-exhale as the spirit ascends,

passed the limit of sky lines,

to a place not tied by earthly binds …’til we meet again on the other side.

 

 

No v/blog this week. My boo’s grandfather, a man who lived, what I’m learning was, a rich colorful life, passed away last week and we’ll be flying 3,000 miles away to be with our ginormous family and to be a part of the homecoming and grieving rituals. Let death remind us to not take these breaths for granted.

– xOx